Current Affairs

30 June, 2021

International

Widespread Violence on Smuggled Migrants – UNODC Report

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released a report titled- “Abused and Neglected – A Gender Perspective on Aggravated Migrant Smuggling Offences & Responses”.
As per the report, Globally there are instances of Extreme violence, torture, rape highly prominant among the migrants who were smuggled across countries.
Findings of the Report:
i.Male migrants are subjected to forced labour & physical violence, whereas female migrants were highly exposed to sexual violence
ii.Major Transit routes for Human Trafficking – West and North Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, and Central America
iii.Very few instances of violence were recorded, because of lack of action taken by intended officials due to insignificant evidence of violence
About United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC):
Executive Director – Ghada Fathi Waly
Established – 1997
Headquarters – Vienna, Austria

UNEP & Massive Earth Foundation partnered to launch LowCarbon.Earth Challenge in Asia-Pacific

In a bid to boost start-up for producing sustainable goods and services by adopting Low Carbon Lifestyle, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with Massive Earth Foundation (MEF) has launched 4-month long program namely LowCarbon.Earth (https://lowcarbon.earth) for Asia Pacific region. This is a first of its kind unique initiative of Industry-Academia Partnership. It is an Asia Pacific Low Carbon Lifestyle Accelerator acting as a challenge under which Startups will be supported for market expansion, growth & fund raising from globally renowned investors.
About Massive Earth Foundation (MEF):
It is a non–profit organization (Section 8 company)
Headquarter– New Delhi
About United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Executive Director– Inger Andersen
Headquarter– Nairobi, Kenya

China launched 2 units of its World’s Largest Baihetan Hydropower Station

i.China launched two units of its world’s largest Baihetan hydropower station worth USD 34 billion. The units, currently under construction, are located on the Jinsha River, the upper section of the Yangtze River, and straddle the southwestern provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan.
ii.This launch came ahead of the centenary celebrations of the ruling Communist Party on July 1, 2021.
iii.It is equipped with 16 hydro-generating units, each with a capacity of one million kilowatts i.e. total installed capacity is 16 million kilowatts. It is the largest single-unit capacity in the world.
About China:
President – Xi Jinping
Capital – Beijing
Currency – Yuan or Renminbi

National

INS Tabar to participate in Joint Exercises with Friendly Navies of Africa & Europe

Indian Navy Ship (INS) Tabar has been deployed to participate in Russian Navy Day celebrations (from June 22-27, 2021) and joint exercises with friendly navies in Africa and Europe. INS Tabar started its journey on June 13, 2021 and will visit a number of places till September, 2021. During the deployment, Tabar will move across the Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Suez Canal, Mediterranean Sea and other ports. It is also set to participate in bilateral exercises like Exercise Konkan with the UK, Exercise Varuna with French Navy, and Exercise Indra with Russian Navy. INS Tabar is a Talwar-class stealth Frigate and is commanded by Captain M Mahesh. It is part of Indian Navy’s Western Fleet, which is based at Mumbai.

NITI Aayog & UN hosted National Convention on Prevention of Obesity in New Delhi

NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog and United Nations (UN) hosted a National Convention/Consultation on Prevention of Maternal, Adolescent and Childhood Obesity in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Dr. Vinod Kumar Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog and Co-chairmanship of Dr. R Hemalatha, Director, Nutrition Institute of India. During the meeting obesity was addressed as a silent epidemic.

3rd India-Bhutan Development Cooperation Talks held virtually

The 3rd Development Cooperation Talks between India & Bhutan took place virtually. The Indian side was led by Rahul Chhabra, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs while the Bhutan side was led by Kinga Singye, Foreign Secretary, Bhutan. During the meeting, both sides agreed to implement new projects in Bhutan in sectors like road infrastructure, water management and COVID-19 management. India has committed INR 4500 crores for the implementation of development projects and INR 400 crores for the transitional Trade Support Facility under Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan (2018-2023). The two sides reviewed the progress of the ongoing Project Tied Assistance (PTA) as well as the Small Development Projects (SDPs)/High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) under Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan.
About Bhutan
Prime Minister – Lotay Tshering
Capital – Thimphu
Currency – Bhutanese Ngultrum

Overview of Government’s INR 6,28,993 Crore Relief Package to Support Indian Economy

Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman announced an ‘Economic Relief from Pandemic’ stimulus package worth INR 6,28,993 crore to support the Indian Economy during the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.A total of 17 measures were announced. They can be classified into 3 broad categories – Economic Relief from Pandemic, Strengthening Public Health & Impetus for Growth & Employment.
Gist of Important schemes and their allocations
Scheme Amount
Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID Affected Sectors INR 1.10 Lakh Crore
Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) Additional allocation of INR 1.5 Lakh crore
Credit Guarantee Scheme for Micro Finance Institutions INR 7,500 crore
New Scheme for Public Health INR 23,220 crore
Loan Guarantee Scheme for Tourist Guides/stakeholders INR 100 crore
About Ministry of Finance
Union Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman (Karnataka)
Minister of State (MoS) – Anurag Singh Thakur (Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh)

Economy

Dvara E-Dairy in Partnership with IFFCO-Tokio Launched Digital ID Tags for Cattle Insurance – ‘Surabhi e-Tag’

Dvara E-Dairy Solutions Pvt Ltd, a portfolio company of Dvara Holdings, in partnership with IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Co. Ltd. (ITGI) launched an artificial intelligence (AI) powered digital identity (ID) tag named ‘Surabhi e-Tag’, to identify cattle based on muzzle identity.
About IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Co. Ltd. (ITGI):
It is a joint venture between Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO), formed by more than 40,000 farmers’ cooperatives, and Tokio Marine and Nichido Fire Inc of Japan.
Establishment – 2000
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana
MD& CEO – Anamika Roy Rashtrawar

US Announced $41 Million Additional COVID-19 Assistance to India

The US (United States) Agency for International Development (USAID) announced an additional $41 million assistance to help India to confront COVID-19, and strengthen India’s preparedness for future health emergencies. The additional fund was provided as a support for COVID-19 testing, pandemic-related mental health services, timely referrals to medical services, and access to healthcare in remote areas.
US’s COVID-19 Assistances to India:
i.From the beginning of COVID-19, USAID has contributed more than $200 million for India’s COVID-19 relief and response efforts, including more than $50 million in emergency supplies. It has also provided training for more than 214,000 frontline health workers on infection prevention and control, benefitting more than 42 million Indians.
Note – The US represented India as an ‘incredibly important’ partner.
About the United States Agency for International Development (USAID):
Establishment – 1961
Administrator – Samantha Power
Headquarters – Washington D.C., USA

Commercial Bank of Kuwait Selected TCS BaNCS for Transforming Treasury Operations

Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK), one of the largest financial institutions in Kuwait, has selected Tata Consultancy Services’(TCS) ‘TCS BaNCS’ Treasury solution to transform its operations, enhance risk management, offer a new generation of asset class coverage, and ensure regulatory compliance. The treasury solution under the brand name of ‘TCS BaNCS’ was compiled by TCS Financial Solutions, the business unit of TCS.
About Tata Consultancy Services (TCS):
Establishment – 1968
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Rajesh Gopinathan
About Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK):
It is the 2nd oldest Bank in Kuwait.
Establishment – 1960
Headquarters – Kuwait City, Kuwait
Chairman – Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Jaber Al-Sabah

Japan to provide approx $9.3 mn to build Cold Chain Facilities for Vaccines in India

In order to contain COVID-19, Japan is all set to provide approximately US$9.3 million assistance from its Emergency Grant Aid scheme to India for the building of cold chain facilities for safe storage of vaccines. In this regard, India will also get cold chain equipment including medical equipment. Japan through its Emergency Grant Aid schemes aims to provide ‘Last One Mile Support’ for ensuring vaccination to each and every person of developing countries, through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
About Japan:
Capital– Tokyo
Currency– Japanese yen
Prime Minister– Yoshihide Suga
Indian Ambassador to Japan– Sanjay Kumar Verma

MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari Launched Indian Bank’s ‘MSME Prerana’ in Maharashtra

Union Minister of MSME (Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) and Road, Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari launched Indian Bank’s first of its kind flagship Business Mentoring Program named ‘MSME Prerana’ in Maharashtra. Objective: To develop managerial and financial capabilities of MSME Entrepreneurs and create awareness on various initiatives taken by the central government (govt)/ State govt / Reserve Bank of India and Other agencies. The programme will be started from Nagpur, Maharashtra followed by other important cities of the state.
MSME Prerana: It was designed by Indian Bank in collaboration with Poornatha and Co. to empower MSME entrepreneurs (especially women), under which MSMEs will be trained through capacity building workshops in local languages for skill development and business understanding. As per the Annual Report of the MSME Ministry, Maharashtra is being one of the top 5 states with ~48 lakh estimated MSMEs, this program will enhance those MSME’s productivity.
About Indian Bank:
Establishment – 1907
MD & CEO – Padmaja Chunduru
Headquarters– Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Tagline – Your Own Bank

Sports

Shafali Verma becomes youngest Indian to make debut in all formats

Indian opener Shafali Verma becomes youngest Indian to make debut in all formats, Verma who hails from haryana took 17 years and 150 days to make her debut across all three cricket format for India and she became the fifth youngest cricketer overall in the list, headed by Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Sajan Prakash becomes first-ever Indian swimmer to make Olympic ‘A’ cut

A 27- year old Indian Swimmer Sajan Prakash from kerala has become first-ever Indian swimmer to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic 2020 by breaching the ‘A’ standard time in the men’s 200m butterfly event at the 2021 Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, Italy. The Games ‘A’ standard was set at 1:56.48 seconds, he had completed 1:56:38 seconds that is 0.10 seconds faster at the FINA-accredited Olympic qualifier. He competed in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 under the universality quota.

Deepika Kumari wins hat-trick Gold Medals in Archery World Cup Stage-3 to reclaim World No.1 position

In June 2021, Indian Woman archer Deepika Kumari created history by winning Gold in all 3 recurve events – Women’s individual, team and mixed pair events in the Archery World Cup Stage-3 event that was held in Paris, France.
Note – Deepika Kumari is the only Indian Woman Archer to participate in Tokyo Olympics
Gold Medal Events:
Women’s Individual – Deepika Kumari won Gold against Russia’s Elena Osipova with a 6-0 victory
Women’s Team – Team India’s Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari won Gold against Mexican Women’s Team
Mixed pair – Deepika paired with her husband Atanu Das winning Gold medal against Netherland’s Sjef van den Berg and Gabriela Schloesser
i.After winning the events, she was ranked as World Number 1 Woman Archer by the World Archery Federation
iiOver the years, she has won a total of 9 Gold, 12 Silver and 7 Bronze medals in the World Cup.
About World Archery Federation:
Founded – 1931
Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
President – Uğur Erdener

Miscellaneous

“Enforcing Contracts Portal” launched by Department of Justice

Barun Mitra, Secretary at Department of Justice launched the “Enforcing Contracts Portal” that is aimed at improving the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in India.
i.The Department of Justice under the Ministry of Law and Justice, is the nodal agency responsible for all policy reforms on “Enforcing Contracts” for improving the EoDB in India.
ii.Provides up to date information on all commercial cases in Dedicated Commercial Courts in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata
Note – India was ranked 63rd in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 index
About Ministry of Law and Justice:
Union Minister – Ravi Shankar Prasad (Constituency – Patna Sahib, Bihar)
“JustIS App” – District & Subordinate Court Management app of the Department of Justice

Umesh Sinha Re-Appointed as the Deputy Election Commissioner of India

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet recently approved the extension in the term of re-employment of Sinha as deputy election commissioner on contract basis. The appointment is made for one year upto July 2022. Umesh Sinha was a 1986 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer, who was re-employed after his age of superannuation. He has earlier served as the Chief Election Commissioner of Uttar Pradesh.

India’s Term as Chair of ILO’s Governing Body Completed in June 2021

In June 2021, Apurva Chandra, Labour & Employment Secretary, completed his tenure as Chairperson of Governing Body (GB) of the International Labour Organization (ILO). In October 2020, India assumed the Chairmanship of the GB of ILO after 35 years. Apurva Chandra has been elected as Chairperson for the period October 2020 – June 2021. Next Chairperson: Anna Jardfelt, the Swedish Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva was elected as the next chairperson of GB of ILO for the period 2021-2022.
About International Labour Organization (ILO):
i.It is the only tripartite U.N. agency, it brings together governments, employers and workers of the member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.
ii.ILO received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969.
iii.India is the Founding Member of the ILO and has been the permanent member of the ILO GB since 1922.
Establishment – 1919
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Member Countries – 187

Swedish PM Stefan Lofven Resigned after No-Confidence Vote

Swedish Prime Minister (PM) Stefan Lofven resigned on June 28, 2021, after he lost a confidence vote on June 21, 2021, when the Left Party withdrew its support from Lofven’s government. He was appointed as the PM of Sweden on 3 October 2014 and he secured the 2nd term in the 2018 election. The country’s Speaker Andreas Norlen will find a new PM with enough backing from lawmakers or conduct a snap election. Lofven’s government will stay temporarily to handle routine tasks of the government until a new administration is formed.
Note – The actual election was scheduled to be held in September 2022.
About Sweden:
It is a Nordic country in Northern Europe.
Capital – Stockholm
Currency – Swedish krona

Journalist P Sainath Awarded Japan’s Fukuoka Grand Prize 2021

Renowned journalist and founder of PARI (People’s Archive of Rural India) P Sainath has been awarded Japan’s Fukuoka Grand Prize for 2021.
The award is given in three categories: Academic Prize, Culture Prize and the Grand Prize. The Academic Prize is won by Prof. Kishimoto Mio of Japan and The Arts and Culture Prize is won by filmmaker Prabda Yoon of Thailand.

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